Rob Owen is a singer songwriter from the Bay Area who is based in Santa Cruz. He has been in the music business for several years now and his vocal talent paired with his creative song writing make him one of the most promising new Bay Area artists. In 2007 he released his first album after a five year stint with the band Oka Road and put out two new tracks in 2008 already in support of his next album.

Rob started playing piano at the age of seven but quit soon, as his music teacher didn't allow him too much freedom to play what he liked to play. He returned to making music at the age of 13 when he started to play drums and he was in and out of rock and metal bands until he was 20. Around that time he started playing the guitar as well. In college Rob also took jazz and classical theory and discovered his vocal and songwriting abilities. Musically he was influenced from an early age as both of his Grandfathers were musicians, one was a self taught piano player and the other a professional singer. That's probably also where Rob inherited his real talent, i.e. his smooth soulful baritone.

In 1997 Rob had his first solo effort with "Painted Words" which Rob once descirbed as "quite abstract personal metaphors set to a Pink Floyd type sound." All of this didn't result in anything though and after a few years Rob became the lead singer of the band Oka Road, a five piece band that also included Kevin Martin, Mike Orlando, David McReynolds and Will Bright. Oka Road, who named themselves after a road in California, released three CDs between 2000 and 2005 and that's also how long the band lasted.

 Rob Owen

Oka Road's alternative rock sound had been quite successful as they got major radio airplay, local television spots, great reviews for their albums and even a short feature on MTV Real World. Once they were offered a record contract though, the band decided to call it a day. As Rob Owen puts it "... the whole thing became a drag: the company, a subsidiary of a major label, wanted all the rights to Oka's current songs and all creative rights to their next CD." Eventually this possible loss of artistic freedom made Rob decide to go it all alone as he considers writing music one of the most rewarding aspect of making music.

Although Oka Road disbanded in 2005 I added their albums to the discography as Rob played an important part in that band. In addition you can still listen to some tracks on Oka Road's MySpace website (link below) ... the original band website no longer exists.

 In 2007 Rob independently released his first solo album "Barefoot In The Rain" which features nine tracks he recorded with his former Oka Road band mates Dave McReynolds and Will Bright. The album is a rather thoughtful album and its nine songs come along at a slow pace, which is never boring or sad though as Rob Owen artistically weaves several uplifting elements into his music.

From the first track that tries to remind us how it is to walk "Barefoot In The Rain" a journey starts that cruises through the downsides of life, trying to not let them drag you down. Hence there is the call to "Wake Me Up" and to open the doors wide, get rid of distractions "In This Home" and spend some time on a "Park Bench" and let the light shine through on an ordinary day. "Take Away" reminds to never put something down as it might not come around again or to be on your way in "Shoes Of A Fisherman" and keep the "Eyes To The Sky" and be patient for changes as the clouds will pass. "Back To You" reflects on the religious sides of life and in the end it can still be "Way Too Much". All in all this is a very fine album that helps getting ones priorities right again and it demonstrates Rob Owens eleborate songwriting skills.

Rob's 2008 single releases in support of his next album, i.e. the upbeat "Let's Just" and "Clear Day In July" are a celebration of life compared to Rob's first solo album. Rob gathered new musicians to record these tracks and especially "Let's Just" is very uplifting.

I highly recommend to visit Rob's website and check out his tunes. Let's hope that his next release which should be out late in 2008 will get him the recognition he deserves.


With Oka Road:

  • 2002 Oka Road
  • 2004 Drive Number
  • 2005 ... Into The Spinning Clouds


  • 1997 Painted Words
  • 2007 Barefoot In The Rain
  • 2008 Let's Just/Clear Day In July

    Oka RoadOka Road
    Oka Road

    (Oka Road Music 2002)
    Say One Thing -- All Around Here -- Modern Day -- Games -- Windrider -- Miles -- Runaway -- Become -- Stay Today -- Let It Go -- Riverside -- Call -- Policeman -- Goath

    Musicians: Rob Owen (vocals), Dave McReynolds (drums); Will Bright (bass), Kevin Martin (acoustic guitar), Mike Orlando (percussion), John Busboom (electric guitar)

    Buy from CDBaby:


    Drive NumberDrive Number
    Oka Road

    (Oka Road Music 2004)
    It Was Said -- Swimming -- Clocktower -- The Dream -- Come and Go -- Not My Fault -- Runnin Deep

    Musicians: Rob Owen (vocals), Dave McReynolds (drums); Will Bright (bass), Kevin Martin (acoustic guitar), Mike Orlando (percussion)

    Buy from CDBaby:


    ... into the spinning clouds... Into The Spinning Clouds
    Oka Road

    (Oka Road Music 2005)
    Something Else -- Why -- Cry Wolf ... ???

    Musicians: Rob Owen (vocals), Dave McReynolds (drums); Will Bright (bass), Kevin Martin (acoustic guitar), Mike Orlando (percussion)

    Their final CD was only available at their last show in Santa Cruz on March 11, 2005.

    Barefoot In The RainBarefoot In The Rain
    Rob Owen

    (Rob Owen Music 2007)
    Barefoot In The Rain -- Wake Me Up -- In This Home -- Park Bench -- Take Away -- Shoes Of A Fisherman -- Eyes In The Sky -- Back To You -- Way Too Much

    Musicians: Rob Owen (vocals/guitar), Dave McReynolds (drums); Will Bright (bass)

    Buy CD from artist!!!

    ... or from CDBaby:


    Let's Just/Clear Day In JulyLet's Just /
    Clear Day In July
    Rob Owen

    (Rob Owen Music 2008)
    Let's Just -- Clear Day In July

    Musicians: Rob Owen (vocals/guitar); Damon Danielson (lead guitar); Andy Zenczak (bass), Mark Quinn (drums); Gianni Staiano (piano, organ)

    Buy CD from artist!!!

    ... or from CDBaby:



    Further Links:

  • Official Rob Owen website!

  • Rob's MySpace website!

  • Interview with Rob Owen

  • Oka Road's MySpace website.


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